GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has asked Paresh Baruah, fugitive chief of outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), to join politics and promised amnesty for him.
Gogoi’s overture came a day after the separatist leader asserted that the Centre was scared of holding a plebiscite in Assam.
“I urge him to come overground and join politics. He can prove his support by participating in the electoral process,” Gogoi told journalists here on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister said if Baruah desired to come to Assam, he would request the Centre to provide him amnesty. “I’m not sure if the Centre will agree, but I will make the request,” Gogoi said.
“There is no need for a plebiscite in Assam. Elections are held here freely with the participation of 99 per cent of the people-- except for a few supporters of Baruah-- who believe that Assam is a part of India. They have been taking part in elections,” Gogoi said, adding, “They (people) also believe in Parliamentary democracy, which is followed in Assam. All the polls held in the state had recorded over 70 per cent turnout”.
The ULFA leader is believed to be operating from the Myanmar-China border.